Food Structure

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The morphology and texture of mozzarella cheese analogs prepared from soy protein isolate, gelatin, fat and different hydrocolloids (gums) were evaluated and compared. The fracturability, hardness and adhesiveness of the cheese analog gels were found to be proportionally related to the amount of fat and gelatin, and concentration and viscosity of gums. However, the stretchability of the cheese analog progels was not controlled by the viscosity of gums, but by the amount of gum and gelatin in the formulation. Fat content affected the fracturability and hardness, but did not have a significant effect on the other textural parameters or stretchability. This physical relationship enabled the preparation of cheese analogs with a broad range of fat contents. Microstructural studies indicated that gums with a lower viscosity formed a uniform and delicate gel network. Gums with a higher viscosity tended to form clumps in the gel network which might retard the alignment of molecules in the progel state and hence, adversely affect the stretching properties of the analog.

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